Wednesday, September 5, 2012

*Guest Feature* Molly Jacques ~ Tips for Working with a Calligrapher

Today we have the ultra-talented illustrator and calligrapher Molly Jacques as a guest. She is here to give us the inside scoop on working with a calligrapher for your wedding invitations and event pieces. Her gorgeous work has been featured in Martha Stewart Weddings magazine and on blogs like  Oh So Beautiful Paper, Design Work Life, and Paper Crave. She even has a fabulous online shop full of little lettering beauties for you to buy!

Welcome to Paper Wedding Molly Jacques!

Hi everyone! Kate recently asked me if I could share a little info with her readers about working with a calligrapher to create beautiful, hand written pieces for a wedding or any special event. The process can seem a bit overwhelming, but hopefully with these few tips, you'll have no problem finding and working with a calligrapher that fits the overall aesthetic and budget of your big day! Here are a few steps to get you started...

 This is definitely the tricky part of the whole process as you want to find someone who fits your event's aesthetic and budget. Pinterest is a great way to find calligraphers with pricing at all different levels. Whether you want something traditional, modern, or whimsical, there's a calligrapher out there that specializes in one or all of those styles.

For example, my portfolio really highlights a modern, whimsical vibe. I love working with moving baselines and funky calligraphy styles, creating an image that is clean but also innovative.

 Next, you'll have to book time in your calligrapher's schedule. The earlier you contact him or her, the more likely he or she be able to fit you into their schedule. To be safe, contacting your calligrapher 6-10 months in advance is always a good idea. When contacting, be sure to include whatever amount of this information you can:

-What type of project is this (envelope addressing, invitation design, place cards, etc.)?

-How many will you need?

-What color is your paper and what color ink do you want?

-When will you need everything finished?

-Any information regarding a style of calligraphy you'd like (most calligraphers have a signature style that they are known for).

Most calligraphers can also work on a rush order for an additional fee.

From that point, your calligrapher will most likely take a 25-50% deposit to secure your place in their schedule, and voila, you've created a wonderful partnership!


Be sure to send the paper materials to your calligrapher for him or her to receive on or before the date scheduled to begin. I usually ask for 20% extra materials in case of any added on names or spelling errors.


 When the time comes for working on envelopes (or place cards, or other day-of paper materials), you'll need to submit a list of names and addresses in the same wording that you'd like them to be written out. Most calligraphers ask for a typed, alphabetized, numbered list as a PDF or Word Document. I always make sure to remind brides that I despise working from Excel sheets.


 When your calligrapher is finished, he or she will ship everything back to you.  At this point, you'll let them know if there are any spelling errors.  Next, you'll send out your invitations and wait to hear back from your guests!


All photos via Molly Jacques

 For more information on the calligraphy process or to book time in my schedule, please visit me at (link to my website - htpp://  Thanks so much Kate for asking me to contribute!

Thank you Molly Jacques!

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